National Skilled Nursing Care Center Week, formerly known as National Nursing Home Week, provides an opportunity to celebrate the challenging and rewarding work of nurses and staff who provide care to residents in long-term care centers. Whereas hospital nurses provide care to patients day in and day out, with a continual turnover as patients recover and are discharged, nurses providing care in long-term care centers develop meaningful relationships with their residents, many of whom often become like family.
“It is often a difficult decision for a family to wrestle with as they evaluate how to care for their loved ones on an ongoing basis after their need requires them to have round-the-clock care, but it doesn’t have to be a difficult decision,” said Delma Hearting, Administrator of The Living Center, a 99-bed long-term care center that is adjacent to Fitzgibbon Hospital and is owned by the not-for-profit, 501c3 organization. “It becomes much easier to make the decision once people realize how much our staff cares for their loved ones and how much socialization we are able to provide.”
One of the major benefits to The Living Center is that it shares a medical record system with Fitzgibbon Hospital, enabling medical personnel to establish a care plan from the first day for the new resident. This continuity of care is vital for the ongoing well-being of the residents they serve.
“We are literally just a hallway away from Fitzgibbon Hospital should the need arise for our residents to receive medical care, either for routine doctor appointments or for emergency care,” said Hearting. “This makes it much more convenient for the resident to visit their doctor and our staff members enjoy getting to take them and sit with them during their appointments.”
There are also numerous services that are enjoyed by residents at The Living Center including worship services, concerts, restaurant style dining, crafts, beauty salon services as well as medical services such as rehabilitation and podiatry. Fitzgibbon Hospital also has its own hospice service known as Fitzgibbon Home Health and Hospice, which provides care on-site for those whose conditions no longer respond to curative treatment and whose life expectancy is less than six months.
The Living Center’s Special Care Unit was recently remodeled to make the homelike surroundings safer and more visually appealing for those dealing with memory loss or other cognitive conditions.
“Our special care unit is very dear to all of our hearts. It’s where members of our community who are struggling with memory loss due to Alzheimer’s or dementia receive round-the-clock care by some of the most amazing people you will ever meet,” said Hearting.
The Living Center recently launched a new educational program that provides individuals an opportunity to earn their Certified Nurse Assistant or Certified Med Tech credential while they work. The program is completely free for employees of The Living Center.
“Once someone has worked for The Living Center for a month they can enter the CNA program,” said Hearting. “The program takes four months, and it allows individuals to study at their own pace or with others depending on how they learn best. Once they complete the four-month program, they take their CNA exam. All fees are covered, so it is a tremendous opportunity for someone to get the required education at no cost and start their career.”
To view a photo gallery and video of the facility, please go to www.fitzgibbon.org/tlctour. To schedule an appointment to tour The Living Center in person, call (660) 886-9676 or email [email protected]. To view the full brochure of The Living Center, visit www.fitzgibbon.org/the-living-center .